News 18 August 2016
Author: Alex Griffin

The Sideman’s guide to New York: A Diary

18 August 2016

Earlier this year, we – or namely, our editor Griff – had the incredible opportunity to fly out to New York and visit the set of The Get Down, courtesy of Netflix.

We’ve already let you know what we learnt about the show whilst on the Queens-based set (and if you haven’t pree’d that, then make sure to right here), but now we want to give you a little insider info on the trip as a whole. However, from a slightly more unique perspective…

You’re not going to learn anything culturally relevant or interesting here. Oh no. These are merely the ramblings of an idiot abroad.

To avoid any sort of copyright infringement though, this diary is from Griff in his Sideman persona (more of that here). It might not be useful, but it’s certainly entertaining! Check out his real-time diary, typed into his phone as it happened, from the 3-day trip below. Watch The Get Down right here.

Day 1: 07:45

Last night, I took very ill-advised and drunk information on what time I had to leave to catch my plane. Safe to say that waking up now with my flight due to depart at 9:20 was not the best idea.




Jesus. Christ. I’m out of breath. Never quite had an airport experience like this one, as I’ve literally just moved like Mo Farah from the Heathrow tube to Terminal 3. They were calling for passenger Griffin and a lady was waiting with a clipboard. Lidge last person on here. This was a close call, hot damn.


Hold tight Virgin Atlantic. Free Tiger beers and dat. Gonna get a bit drunk and watch Star Wars like a real man.


Landed in JFK Airport and although I was flying for gone 7 hours, it’s apparently only 11 o’clock. Weird.


Pretty sure I just seen Kanye West with a gret in his mouth fighting a woman with a camera outside arrivals. Idk.


This is so rude that it’s actually bare funny, but after being over an hour late, my driver has rocked up to me on the phone having a mad argument with his old dear. Hasn’t said a word to me, but he’s beckoned with his head. That’s nice.


Finally arrived at the hotel on Brooklyn Bridge where I’m staying. This is bouji but my room’s not ready 🙁


Literally everything in this city is massive. I know that’s probably the stupidest point to make ever and more obvious than Arsenal’s need for a striker, but literally EVERYTHING. Roads. Lamp posts. Burgers. People. I’ve walked across Brooklyn Bridge to kill time before my room is ready and it’s taken literally HALF AN HOUR BRUV.

I thought, oh yeah, quick one, just go across the bridge and explore the neighborhood. Nah man. Long.

GRM Daily


Spotted a Bristol City sticker on the bridge. They might be a sideman team, but they’re my team init. I feel at home  .


I’m so real. Just bought a dollar slice of pizza from a bodega and ate it on the door step.

I’ve headed back to the hotel though with a couple more slices and my room’s finally ready. It’s the biggest suite I’ve ever stayed in in my life, like fully bigger than Gervinho’s forehead. There’s TWO TV’s in here. For why?! God bless you Netflix.

GRM Daily


This time difference business has really slumped me. Got a busy day tomorrow so calling it an early night. The room’s so big I wanna have a party but obviously I’m on my ones and what’s a one man party?


It turns out a one man party is eating slices of pizza in the bath and then getting out naked and throwing all your dollars around like it’s Magic City. Night, yo.

Day 2: 08:00

Rendezvoused in the hotel lobby with a Netflix rep and a bunch of other international journalists. Hold tight Switzerland, France, Germany, Norway and Italy. I feel like I’m part of a really shitty Avengers team.


We’ve arrived in Queens, on the set of The Get Down. I actually feel pretty Hollywood right now. Mama, I made it.

Nah, I’ve made it when I get a selfie with Jaden Smith. Man better be here. I’m gonna caption it with something iconic that he’d tweet. “When you live your whole life in a prison, freedom can be dull” or  “He was excited to turn 18. But he turned 18 long ago”

GRM Daily


I’ve got interviews today with some pretty serious people. Cast members, costume designers, choreographers. Real people. Should probably turn down the sideman-ness a little bit while I’m here and do some actual work.


A little while after our interview, I found Shameik Moore (who plays badman Shaolin Fantastic btw), sound asleep on a bean bag listening to Future obnoxiously loud through his headphones. I like this guy.


LMFAO I was just forced to participate in a disco dance lesson from the show’s choreographers. These man were discovered by Michael Jackson and do Chris Brown’s videos. That’s like being asked to rap for Jay-Z or ball for Beckham. Not on.

Safe to say, they weren’t ready for what I had on the floor. Apparently it was being filmed for Dutch TV. Gotta cancel my Amsterdam trip.

GRM Daily


Finally leaving the set. I’m supposed to be heading to a Pigeons & Planes show in Manhattan, but there’s absolutely no way I’m making it there in time. Gonna roll back to the hotel and shower, then go for drinks with these European nutters.


I’m slightly waved off weird cloudy craft lager already. Turns out they’re all mad older than me, apart from the Swiss girl. I’m not even a sideman. I’m a side child. Wth. Gonna have to bond with her.


Toilet bowels have too much water in them. #RandomAmericanObservation


Turns out she had a boyfriend. I couldn’t even try a ting. We ate fish tacos in a tequila bar and now I’m way too licked to even be trying to work out what I gotta write here.

I can’t wait to wake up at the most unholy of hours at like 5 o clock with the worst hangover in the world and fly for literally thousands of miles omg why frrsdldskadhfjdsgfklfgh

I ain’t gonna make it #3Griff

Day 3